Shane McAnally Recalls Story of Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Follow Your Arrow’ Ahead of ‘Songland’ Premiere
Shane McAnally is the man behind a few dozen country hits, and he's got good stories tell about them. In this Taste of Country exclusive premiere, the songwriter and Songland producer opens up about "Follow Your Arrow," a 2014 CMA Song of the Year winner for Kacey Musgraves.
Songland is NBC's new competitive singing show, but this time contestants are judged based on the quality of their song, not their performance. Kelsea Ballerini, John Legend, Old Dominion and Meghan Trainor are a few more of the stars associated with the show, which debuts on May 28. McAnally is one of three producers charged with recording the stand out songs, much like he did for "Follow Your Arrow" about seven years ago. It was all Musgraves' idea.
"She started with a note that she had written to a friend of hers," McAnally says, reciting several of the lyrics from the now-famous chorus. "She had a picture of the note and she actually took the song to Katy Perry."
The pop star thought it'd be better coming from Musgraves, recognizing it as a country anthem with the potential to break down some walls. From there Brandy Clark and McAnally helped her finish it and the Texan added it to her eventual Grammy winning album.
"It really did change a lot of peoples minds," McAnally says. "Being a gay man in country music, I have gotten very used to acceptance. People have always accepted me. I've never felt like I was on the outside of anything."
That's not the case for everyone, however — something the song recognizes. For this reason, he says, he's very proud of her for writing it, recording it and eventually releasing it as a single.
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